The allure of the entertainment industry is getting higher and more people are changing jobs to get to the limelight or do what they are passionate about. Is it singing, acting or working behind the scenes in the showbiz world? SAMUEL ABULUDE writes on some of Nigeria’s celebrities who left their professional jobs for the entertainment industry
The desire to make fame through the entertainment industry is more heightened now than ever before. The younger generation who may have been sold a faux pas in this clime that the way out of poverty is to be in the entertainment industry or do sports. The ongoing Big Brother Naija reality show is a good example of how platforms as such are desperately sought after.
Almost everyone in the entertainment industry has a story. Some studied a professional course in the higher institution or did menial jobs before venturing into their passion in the entertainment industry. Others were involved in a profession before the love of acting or singing took the better part of them. The following are some of our celebrities that are now in the world of showbiz but were formerly involved in one job or another.
Nse-Ikpe Etim – Bank Worker Turned Actor
Nse Ikpe-Etim is a consummate actor and an award-winning one at that. The Akwa-Ibom born actress started her acting career in 2007 and had her first role in the movie, “Reloaded” produced by Emem Isong. But prior to when she started acting, she was into banking. According to her, she also worked at a radio and television station.
For Nse whose latest movie, “Heaven’s Hell” is out in the cinemas, the passion for the make-belief industry has always been there right from when she was young.
“As for me, I was strong-willed that I wanted to join this profession, so I just rebelled through it all and here I am,” she said in an interview.
Falz The Bahd Guy – Dumped Wig and Gown For Glitz
Sensational rapper and entertainer, Falz the Bahd Guy, is a story in excellence in what one does. Folarin Falana (his real name) who is the son of the human rights activist and Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Femi Falana, is a law graduate from a university in the United Kingdom.
Falz was said to have practiced in his father’s Chambers at Oduduwa Crescent in Ikeja, Lagos before succumbing to his passion for music. He later became a rapper and a good one at that. Falz has also acted and created a niche for himself in comedy creating a humorous character in Lasisi. Indeed, the gift of a man will make room for him in Falz and there is more from the young man in showbiz.
Beautiful Nubia – Veterinary Doctor Now Musician
The singer, Beautiful Nubia, is one musician everyone loves to listen to and watch perform. He has serenaded with his genre of music which is akin to folklore. His Roots Renaissance Band is one of the best live music bands to come from Nigeria as their songs are original and the lyric deep and cultural. According to the veteran writer, Benson Idonije, Beautiful Nubia and his brand of music have helped to strengthen the belief that there is hope for genuine and modern African music. Segun Akinlolu, the dreadlocked veteran artiste, is the man behind the sound and has waxed 26 albums to date. The singer studied Veterinary Medicine at the University of Ibadan. He practised for a while before allowing his passion for music take expression. His first album, Jangbalajugbu was a big hit and the rest is history. The singer’s music is philosophical and he has authored four books.
Kiki Omeili– Medical Doctor turned Actor
Kiki Omeile made fame with the sitcom, “Lekki Wives”. The actress quit the medical profession to be an actress and she has made success with it – having featured in so many drama series and movies till date. Not many still believe she is a trained medical doctor, having studied in the University of Lagos. Speaking about her profession, she said in an interview, “Some people think I’m crazy to have quit medicine for a career in acting. I’m just doing what I love. When I was in secondary school, I was always interested in stage performances and debates. When it was time for me to go to the university, I chose to study Medicine. However, by the time I was done studying Medicine, I realised that I was still drawn to the arts. I practised for a little while, but I needed to go with my passion.”
Femi Jacobs- Music Director Turned Actor
Quintessential actor, Femi Jacobs, knows his onions. From his roles in the popular sitcom, “Tinsel” and “The Meeting”, the young man has not looked back having being a music director of Fountain of Life Church to now being an actor who is being sought after.
Femi Jacobs came from a polygamous home and grew-up to discover himself and his purpose in life. He has become a life coach and speaker who motivates the young ones to take their destiny in their hands. Speaking about his journey through life, the actor who was Safe Internet Google Ambassador narrates, “I left home at 8 to live with my uncle. It opened up a new chapter for me. Leaving home at that age, taught me self reliance and creativity. I was then the eldest of his kids. He had four children. I had to learn how to grow up very fast and started contributing for us to have survived. I hawked wares, engaged in farming, and worked as a waiter at his wife’s bar among others.
“I came to Lagos in 1995 and desperately needed a job. I found one in a church in Ketu where I worked as an office assistant. It seems like a million years ago now though. “While at the church, their pianist left to school in England. The pastor said he couldn’t afford to employ another pianist and still keep me on staff. That was how I had to teach myself to play the piano reluctantly. Experiences like this one motivated me into developing myself fully. From that time on, I became a music director fully. That was how my music career was birthed. I later went on to release three albums and performed here, the UK and the US. Music taught me rhythm, voice, and poise. These skills came handy when the opportunity to become an actor surfaced. It was a smooth transition.”
Femi Adebayo – Lawyer Turned Actor
Femi Adebayo is an actor of repute and the son of the veteran actor and producer, Adebayo Salami.
Femi who was the Special Assistant to the Kwara State former governor on Arts and Tourism, studied law at the University of Ilorin and was even called to the bar. But the love for acting made him dump the wig and gown for the world of entertainment.
It is not confirmed yet if Femi later established a chamber but reports have it that he has a law chamber at Sijuwola House, Dugbe in Ibadan.
“I studied Law and was called to the Nigerian bar in 2003 but I later realized that I was having more fun and getting comfortable in showbiz. That was why I settled for acting in 2005,” Femi stated in an interview.
Dr Sid – Dentist turned Musician
Sidney Esiri popularly known as Dr Sid is a musician of repute, part of the famed and defunct Mo’Hits crew who metamorphosed into the Marvin Crew. Dr Sid studied Dentistry but had delved into music for more than a decade now. His music has become one of the songs that people love. ‘Surulere’ featuring his boss and music producer, Don Jazzy, is one of his hit songs.
Lolo 1 – Lawyer Turned OAP
Lolo 1 is a distinguished On Air Personality and actress. The radio presenter who has been with Wazobia Fm for a decade now was a student of law and also attended law school.
The mother of four whose real name is Omotunde Adebowale David allowed her passion to lead and became a radio presenter. She is now one of the leading light off the award winning drama series, Jenifa’s Diary. The bubbly actress has just bid farewell to her job at Wazobia FM and is heading to greater heights in the world of entertainment.
Kemi Adetiba – Dumped The Bar For The Silver Screen
Kemi Adetiba is now a movie director having directed the box office hit movie, “Wedding Party” and her own movie, “King of Boyz”. She started her romance with the entertainment industry as a Law undergraduate when she was working as an On-Air-Personality on Rythym 93.7.
After discovering her interest in entertainment, TV host and musical video director, Kemi Adetiba, went on to study Film Making in New York Film Academy. Kemi is the brain behind several great music videos.
It is also worthy to note that the list is endless which shows that what one loves doing – passion always determines one’s career in the long run if one wants to find lasting success. The likes of RMD and Funke Akindele are graduates of law and but later became entertainers.
Joseph Benjamin before making fame as an actor was once a security guard and waiter. Mercy Johnson also reckoned she had been a housemaid before becoming an actor. The lesson is nothing really comes easy as one needs to work hard to become somebody in life.
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